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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2018 11:15 AM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Public Removal of Trespassers
In both urban and rural areas of Pennsylvania, the issues of squatting and trespassing can be a source of significant conflict for property owners. There have been numerous stories of squatters claiming to own property upon which they are actually trespassing. In these situations, it is often handled as a case of one person’s word against another. Law enforcement are frequently hesitant to remove alleged trespassers at the behest of the claimed property owners for fear of illegally evicting rightful tenants. As a result, the property owners are forced to pursue conventional eviction practices, which can be both costly and dangerous.

During the previous session, members of the House unanimously passed HB 1931, which empowered law enforcement to remove alleged squatters if there is probable cause to believe the individuals are indeed trespassing. Furthermore, the accused would be given adequate opportunity to prove rightful claim to the property prior to removal by law enforcement. These provisions provided a safer, more practical way to handle trespassing disputes. My legislation is a re-introduction of these provisions, because I feel strongly that these are common sense solutions to a contentious problem. I ask that you join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to help protect property owners across the state.

Previous Co-Sponsors: Baker, Barbin, Cephas,Charlton, Cruz, T. Davis, Dawkins, DeLuca, Diamond, Donatucci, Driscoll, Godshall, Greiner, Jozwiak, W. Keller, M. Keller, Kortz, Millard, B. O'Neill, Readshaw, Solomon, Staats, Taylor, Vazquez, Watson & Wheeland.

Introduced as HB546